COBB COUNTY, Ga. - An 11-year-old girl narrowly escaped from a man who tried to snatch her from a Cobb County mall bathroom.
Police said around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, a girl was with her family in the food court at Town Center at Cobb when she asked to used the restroom. Her father walked her to the hallway leading to the women's room and then waited for her to return.
“This is a case That, when you get the phone call about It, it makes your heart skip a beat,” said Deputy Chief Stuart VanHoozer, Cobb County Police Department.
The girl told investigators she didn't see anyone when she went into the bathroom, but after coming out of the stall, the door for another one opened. She told police a black male came out of the stall and grabbed her. According to police, the attacker put a knife to the girl's throat. She screamed and managed to escape.
"When she came out of the stall, a stall across from her opened and a male subject came out. That male subject grabbed her, produced a knife and began to move that towards her," said VanHoozer.
The girl ran back to her father and pointed out the attacker as he left the women's room. Other shoppers saw what was going on, and helped tackle the man and held him until mall security arrived.
Jael Cruz was at the mall with her family when she saw the commotion. She saw Mitchell being arrested and decided to take a photo for social media so others would know what happened. She said when she got close enough to take the photo and saw the look in his eyes, she felt a chill down her spine.
"He had an empty stare in his eyes," said Cruz.
Cruz said she's proud of the little girl for acting quickly and getting away and she knows she won't be able to forget the fear she saw in the child.
"It was heartbreaking. I have her beautiful little face in my head," said Cruz.
Police told FOX 5 News the suspect was arrested after the alleged attack. He has now been identified as 26-year-old Danzell Mitchell.
Mitchell has been charged with false imprisonment, kidnapping, and other charges.
Detectives think Mitchell may have talked to a woman while at the mall. They are now trying to find her. The woman is described as being in her 30's, possibly of Middle Eastern descent.
"That female was described as thin, with a pink top and dark hair and possibly an olive complexion," said VanHoozer.
Police are also asking anyone with photos or video from the mall early Tuesday evening to come forward.